The team is settled into their dorms and have been putting in great work so far. The Lions moved in and immediately began meshing as a team. "We graduated so many last May, so this is a tremendous opportunity to lay the groundwork for the years to come in the NCAA. We need this group to have the comradery and care for one another that will allow them to put it on the line come race day," said Coach Hall.
Meet Our New Team Members!
Brett Buechler – Brett is from Paulding County, Georgia and boasts PR's of 17:32 for 5k and 4:34 for the 1500. He brings a great work ethic and has really done a great job bringing the team together. Brett had this to say about Emmanuel, "I love running for Emmanuel College! We're holding one another accountable to the expectations and I'm working harder than I ever have before."
Jacob Burgamy – Jacob joins Emmanuel from Washington County, Georgia. He is bringing personal bests of 15:20 in the 5k, 4:03 for the 1500, and 1:57 for the 800. Jacob brings a lot of track knowledge as well as tremendous experience to the team. He had this to say about EC. "I came to Emmanuel because three guys that I ran with in high school competed for EC and told me how great of a school it is."
Juwan Lamar – Juwan is from Augusta, Georgia where he competed at Richmond High School. He has run 16:50 for the 5k, 4:37 for the 1600, and 10:23 for the 3200. Juwan will bring a level of experience in endurance sports from both running as well as swimming from a young age. He had this to say about running as an EC Lion, "Our foundation is teamwork and encouragement. Individually we're one drop, but together we're an ocean. Through that I think we will accomplish so much this year and for years to come!"
Andrew Mills – Andrew joins Emmanuel from Lugoff, South Carolina. He has run 17:38 for 5k, 4:38 for the 1600, and 2:02 for the 800. Andrew is bringing a fantastic competitor's drive. He loves to compete and will push his teammates. Andrew had this to say about choosing Emmanuel. "I chose Emmanuel because of the small, friendly, and Godly atmosphere. I look forward to representing Emmanuel Track and Cross country!"
Juan Soto – Juan is from Gainesville, Georgia and a graduate of Johnson High School. He has posted personal bests of 16:51 in the 5k as well as jumping nearly fifteen feet in the pole vault. Juan will be a very versatile athlete for the Lions with his range in the mid to longer distance events and his expertise in pole vault. "I chose Emmanuel because it gives me an opportunity to glorify God through my athletic ability, my academics, and everyday life!"
Will Varner – Will is from Suwannee, Georgia and spent his high school career at North Gwinnett High School. He has run best times of 17:05 for the 5k and 2:02 for the 800. Will brings a lot of raw ability and a remarkable work ethic that will be honed in the coming months. Will had this to say concerning why he chose to bring his talents to EC. "I came to Emmanuel to better myself, not just athletically, but in education and my relationship with God."
Urias Velasquez – Urias joins the Emmanuel Lions from Immokalee, Florida where he used his talents to represent Immokalee High School and several state championship appearances. He has personal bests of 15:47 in the 5k, 9:44 in the 3200, and 4:26 in the 1600. Urias has run great times and comes from a very competitive high school program and Coach Hall looks forward to seeing him make his teammates better with the way he works. Urias decided on Emmanuel because EC is "Christ-centered College with a good science department" that will set him up for his future.
Shawn Withrow – Shawn is a local runner from Franklin County High and will also be competing as an archer for the college. Shawn is actually a world record holder in the 900 Fita Archery Round, but enjoys running as well. Shawn boasts bests of 17:25 for the 5k, 4:55 for the 1600, and 10:45 for the 3200. Shawn had this to say about Emmanuel's team and choosing to compete for EC. "I watched the team practice at my local high school and saw that they weren't just teammates, they were family. I wanted to be a part of that."
Carli Broome – Carli joins Emmanuel from Banks County, Georgia where she ran for Banks County High School. She has run personal bests of 20:45 in the 5k, 2:37 for the 800, and 1:02 for the 400. Carli brings a wonderful team mentality and a hard work ethic. She had this to say about choosing Emmanuel. "I came to EC because I loved how encouraging and uplifting everyone was here. To run cross country and track in an atmosphere where all the glory is given to God was a huge factor that sold me!"
Alex Curtright – Alex joins the Lady Lions as a transfer from Jacksonville, Florida where she participated in several endurance events on her own. She brings a love for running, especially long distance running, as well as some experience as a swimmer. Alex has terrific potential and Coach Hall looks to see her tap into that potential this year. She shared this concerning Emmanuel. "After getting to know some of my future dorm mates/bests friends and seeing how everyone welcomed me, I knew EC was where I wanted to be!"
Makayla Hewell – Makayla joins EC after competing her high school career at Banks County High School where she was a state-wide standout. She boasts personal bests of 18:42 for the 5k, 5:24 for the 1600, and 11:31 for the 3200. Makayla brings fantastic drive and experience of competing at a high level from years of both school sponsored and summer league running. She had this to say about attending Emmanuel. "I chose Emmanuel because the coaching is superior and it was just what I was looking for to promote not only my running, but also my spiritual life."
Erin Putnam – Erin is from Calhoun, Georgia where she represented Calhoun High as a cross country and track athlete. She competed at the state level multiple years in multiple events and brings bests of 20:58 in the 5k, 5:43 in the 1600, and 12:26 for the 3200. Erin has tremendous toughness, and a spirit of competition that's tough to find. She shared this concerning Emmanuel. "The first thing I noticed about Emmanuel when I came to visit was its friendly, small town atmosphere. That's important because I come from a close community. I'm so excited to get the opportunity to run this season with an amazing group of people, and thankful for my family, friends, teachers, and coaches who prepared me for this!"